Caught in a Spiderweb

There’s an artistic collective around here called Spiderweb Salon, which originally was a group of friends who would get together to drink and share poetry, stories, and maybe some music. Since Denton is home to two universities, one of which is largely a music & arts school, it wasn’t long before music and visual arts joined the fray. It kept spirally outward, including dance, comedy, performance art, film, and beer. Yes, a few weeks ago they got together with potato paper and edible paints and made a bunch of art that was put into a mash and transformed into beer.

Last month was the first anniversary of Spiderweb, which has become an interesting hodge-podge of artists. Some have branched-out into other crafts – musicians have tried their hands at poetry, and a couple of fiction writers have performed musical sets. A couple months ago writers of various sorts were paired with visual artists to come up with a collaborative piece, and more recently people have grouped together to do a shadow puppet show.

The idea is, in part, that artists inspire each other, which is true. When I’m at critique group and the after-party, the resulting creative energy flowing around can keep me up all night. A side-effect of this is that you’re not creating in a vacuum, that others are experiencing your work and giving feedback, and while it’s generally positive, the fact that you’re creating / performing for an audience adds an air of accountability. And on top of that, you all know by now that I prefer the constructive negative criticism to ANY positive remarks, but sometimes it’s nice to know what you’re doing doesn’t completely suck.

I’ve done a couple of bits for Spiderweb – I’ll post my favorite below. I’m also reading for them this Friday at 7, in front of SCRAP in Denton. Well, assuming I can get something written by then…

Oh hey, and if you wanna check out Spiderweb’s blog, it’s at :

Doin’ Denton

                I was at a graduation where some girl said, “Denton was like a beautiful love affair.” I thought, “You did it wrong then.” It’s more like this :

You’re sitting at home, minding your own business when there’s a knock at your door. When you open it, there’s this hot naked chick that you sooorta know, but have never talked to. She smiles and grabs you and drags you outside into this tornado where your clothes are ripped off, and she starts fucking you while punching you in the face.

She grabs a saxophone out of the whirling what the fuck around you and says, “Here, learn to play this!” So you figure out the embouchure, which is hard because she’s still punching you in the face, and how to play a few notes, but then she rips it out of your mouth and throws it back into the tornado and instead hands you a pencil and some paper and yells, “Here, write a story about me!” So you write a few novels and hundreds of poems and short stories, AND THEY ALL SUCK! But that’s ok because she didn’t tell you to make them good.

You mis-pronounce her name – “Den-ton,” and she slaps the shit out of you. “THAT’S NOT HOW THE LETTER ‘T’ WORKS!” She screams. And when you figure it out, she rewards you with the orgasmic glory of Jazzfest and 35 Denton and Mister fucking Chopsticks, and you think, “This girl must really love me, but why is she still punching me in the face?”

Then the ghost of Pops Carter appears and gives you the thumbs up and mumbles something which you decipher as, “You’re doin’ it right.” And if Pops Carter says you’re doin’ it right then bloody nose and tornado be damned – you’re doin’ this shit RIGHT!


About benjamininn

About myself are papers, lots of tea, computer monitors, a stapler, pens, an ancient phone, more tea, some paperclips, and a lot of air.
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