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March 2000

We hope to see you at our next celebration

Sunday March 5
4-9 PM
Bruce Taylor’s remodeled condo (Kafka’s Kastle)

Art Sharing: Sunday February 13, 2000

Seiko Olson helped everyone fold origami flowers. Pippin Sardo read a few of her poems, including “A Valentine for the 90s” in this newsletter. Larry Lewis shared his poetry and song lyrics, including an Irish ballad condemning the IRA. Mike Pryor read “Fingers and Toes” and another childhood story from a collection about a northwest town called Squeamish Creek. Bruce Taylor read short stories from his new collection Kafka’s Uncle and Other Strange Tales. Steven Cox read from his novel The Shroud of Turin. Trish Murphy taught everyone psychic spoon bending and spoke about energy work. Ben Miller promised to read his poetry next time. Bob Olson shared the stationary and business cards he is now developing. Lida and Carl Sloan came to appreciate, this time.

Bruce Taylor’s Editorial:

So, here it is , the year 2000. A lot has been written on this year and is being written on this year now. Happily, my thoughts about the dire aspects Y2K Millenium Madness were wrong. While I’m happy about that, what to do with the extra provisions? Save them fo, I guess, a rainy day earthquake. Seattle probably isn’t the safest place to live for the next 100 years. But anyway, so much for the power of forecasting the future -- to paraphrase Arthur C. Clark, it sure ain’t what it used to be. Given that I’m 52, I never dreamed that Y2K would dawn upon my brain for such a long/short time. (When I was a kid, thinking about the year 2000, I thought, “Gee will I ever live that long to see it? It’s such a long way off.”)

The only way I really know that it’s the future is that we have computers (which were never predicted to be in such wide-scale use in the best Science Fiction tales). What else? I now have cable TV with 50-odd channels of garbage not really worth watching -- I see satellite dishes on roofs and the space program is moving forward in little leaplets and boundlets. Oh yeah, ATMs and plastic money. And all the other wonders that were forecast for the year 2000 in the ‘60s and ‘70s have been put off for another 40 years. (However, Spiro Agnew, Nixon’s Right Hand Hatchet Man, did say we could land on Mars in 1986.) So, if we can’t figure out what the future is gonna be, well maybe it’s useless to try to figure out what the next wave of ART is going to be. I guess what it means is that what holds true for the future, in regard to everything else, also holds true for ART: it’s in the process of becoming -- always that.

So, if you live long enough you’ll see the “Future” become “Reality”, even though we can’t ever know what that future is. Likewise, when we explore our art, we can’t know what the final book, poem, music or art piece will be -- that is unknowable. What is knowable is that if you don’t do it, you’ll never know what the future might be, and that could mean a profound loss, not only to you, but to everyone, for all futures to come. And as long as there be minds, and ears, our humanity and our civilization, then Beethoven, Brahms, Shakespeare, Van Gogh, Georgia O’Keefe, The Beatles, those creative souls just beginning to create as well as those who have yet to be born will be appreciated. Until humanity finally fades from the cosmos, replaced by the cold whisper of starlight, there’s a lot of creating to be done! Let the stars know that “Something wonderful this way comes”! (Kudos to Bradbury.)

Other Stuff:

Weekend of March 4th and 5th: starting at Noon, March 4th, Bruce will host Kafka’s Kastle’s Karefully Krafted Kinky Kinematic Delights: a weekend of videos from Brazil to Rocky Horror Picture Show -- something to delight and offend everyone. Bring your sleeping bag and pillow, there’s lots of room. RSVP by March 1st -- at Kafka’s Kastle, of course. Lots of popcorn with the possibility of a gourmet dinner and breakfast.

The monthly FOKUS meeting will begin at 4 PM Sunday March 5th for our usual sharing. For those who would like to learn psychic spoon bending (for real), Trish Murphy will show you how.

From the Lock-up:

(A feature of selected writing from convicts at Monroe Penitentiary who know Bob Olson and have asked to share in our FOKUS newsletter)

Words Hurt Too

You can take coal
and make diamonds -
a match and make fire.

Plant a seed and fruit will grow -
get real dirty and take a bath.

-but, say the wrong thing
at the wrong time -
and a wife never forgets.

Awe - but, her smile
is worth the simple
words spoken softly
in her ear.

I’m sorry darling,
“Forgive me”

Paul Moore 1/11/2000

Who We Are:
A letter and web site explanation from Ben Miller

February 14, 2000


It was good to see you all Sunday. (The last FOKUS meeting.) It inspired me to put together this article introducing my web site project.

I’ve been thinking of a number of ways in which I, at least, can make Pantarbe.com hospitable to FOKUS as a group, and to individual members. One is to extend FOKUS (the club) a group membership including a small web site within the www.pantarbe.com domain and have access to my webboard (like a bbs or newsgroup for posting messages back and forth -- a good start until you get your own domain). I can also extend anyone on the FOKUS mailing list a membership to the site. And I’m happy to consider anyone’s work for publication in the e-zine part of the site.

There’s more. But I need to get this article to you first. I hope this article gets everyone thinking about possibilities. I look forward to discussing this more with everyone when I see you next on the 4th or 5th of March.

Until then, take care!

Ben Miller

A New Web Site for Your Muse:
Introducing Pantarbe.com by Ben Miller (slightly edited by Bob)

A pantarbe is an alchemical gem which shines like the sun and acts upon gold like a magnet.

For the Deeply Creative…
Pantarbe.com is a new World Wide Web site. It and its community of subscribers (members) strive to become pantarbes for those who live, express themselves and work with art, music, writing, the stage, the screen, computers, the evolving cyberspace of the Internet, and other creative mediums. Pantarb.com’s goal is to guide toward prosperity, wealth and personal fulfillment - - through varied explorations. Subscribers (members) participate by contributing works, networking, discussing topics that focus on creative processes and cultural mythopoeia to form an online club that becomes a resource for one’s “inner muse”. It’s motto: art myth alchemy

The Site…
The web site is new, but it’s growing and constantly changing. The addition, amendment and deletion of links, subscribers (members) and content will be continuous. A quick overview: The “For Visitors” area of the site is public -- anyone in the world can access it to see Pantarbe.com’s Resources page(s) of links, highlights of creative presentations, occasional articles, and paths to online searches. “Our Domain” area contains other sites used by subscribers (members) within Pantarbe.com’s computer domain. The “For Members” area is, of course for those who’ve subscribed to the site. It contains a bi-monthly rotation of creative content, a webboard message posting area, and potentially much more. The “Information” area contains answers to most policy and procedural questions.

Is an E-zine…
On one hand, Pantarbe.com is an e-zine. It seeks a bi-monthly rotation of creative content and is currently welcoming any and all contributors. It is budgeted to be market for the creative arts and multimedia -- visual art, writing, journalism, music composition, performance (stage, screen, music, dance, etc.), and computer design for software and the Internet.

But Also a Club…
On the other hand, Pantarbe.com also is a club. Subscribers (members) gain access to the “For Members” area in which they can interact through a Membership Directory for networking (if they wish to be listed), a webboard for posting messages on a wide variety of topics, possibly a chat page with online tutorials or workshops. Subscribers (members) also receive an additional quarterly newsletter (e-mail or snailmail options), and three pages within Pantarbe.com’s computer domain to use. Assistance in design, development and technical support is provided by BAM Works/Webcraft, the producer of Pantarbe.com.

Founded by an Inventive Fellow…
BAM Works/Webcraft (orBW/W) is a small web development business. BW/W is Benjamin A. Miller (“Ben”, or online and at cons, “Benandi”). He approaches the WWW as a mentor with experiences in computer information systems, web site development, writing, editing, computer graphics, music (piano and theory), theater, sound engineering, communications and business. He has a B.A. in English (UW 1983), Certification in Computer Information Systems (NSCC 1990), and Certification in Fiction Writing (UW Extension, SF/F 1994). For the last 20 years he has also been a scholar of mythology, comparative religion and psychology, while on a quest for his muse. His own three pages (as a member of the Pantarbe.com club) is MuseQuest, which he’s developing to focus on the deeper, inner dimensions of being a creative person.

Appropriate for FOKUS.
Recently Ben has joined FOKUS, initially representing Pantarbe.com, but soon he will be sharing his own creative works. Currently, Ben and Bruce are talking about an affiliation or collaboration of some kind between FOKUS and Pantarbe.com. Setting aside technological and logistical constraints (there are members of FOKUS not online yet, while most of Pantarbe.com’s current roster is worldwide, but not in Seattle), the two clubs have a common spirit. Ben believes joining hands in some manner would be mutually beneficial. Bruce is excited about the idea. More will be written about this soon. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions, comments, or questions about this, please contact Bruce or Ben.

Ben can be reached at: bamworks@aol.com

Pantarbe.com is at: http:/www.pantarbe.com/index.htm.
Anyone interested in subscribing to the site please contact Ben, and be sure to say you’re with FOKUS!

So, FOKUS members, what do you think? Please let us know.

Valentine for the 90s
by Pippin Sardo

Valentine, wilt thou be……….?
        (I can’t say mine,
As I would surely not be thine.
        For ownership is not divine,
And it surely is not hip to pine
        In these here times.)
So Valentine, I must decline
        Any offers of this kind.
And to conclude this puzzling rhyme,
        Valentine, wilt thou be:

A happy, self-realized person who happens to have a politically-correct, non-sexist, mutually supportive realtionship, with me?

Last updated:  April 29, 2000