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Rated: E · Interview · Cultural · #1687926
Interview with local Toledoan poets Nathan Elias and Luis Chaluisan.
Coffee klatsch with Nathan Elias and Luis Chaluisan (The Last Drop)

July 2, 7:34 AM Toledo Poetry Examiner Lorraine Cipriano

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Nathan Elias

Nathan EliasThis is the third and final post of my interview with Nathan Elias and Luis Chaluisan. The first post from Tuesday, June 29, 2010 can be found by clicking here. The second post from Wednesday, June 30, 2010 can be found by clicking here.

Lorraine: I noticed on your facebook page that you are the Director, Producer, Writer, and Editor of Cinema Musica Productions. What is Cinema Musica Productions about?

Nathan: There has been a whole history with that. I have been doing it for four years. It took me about two and a half years to shoot. I bought myself an XL1, which is a pretty nice video camera, and I contacted as many bands, hip-hop artists, etc. as possible. I went to Columbus, Cincinnati, Akron, and Athens to film the performances and the interviews. I ended up with about 48 hours of footage.

At the time I was editing on Adobe Premiere, which isn’t as good as Final Cut Pro 7. The footage didn’t come out that great and I didn’t really know what I was doing with editing. At U.T., I received the tools to edit better because they have Final Cut Pro 7. So after my computer crashed, I had an outline of the film but the files were badly compressed so I had to re-edit it from scratch again.

I have been doing that since the beginning of May, basically every day, and I am just about finished with it. It is full-length and about 40 minutes long. It has about 24 musicians in it. In recent years, these musicians have gone on to not only be local smoking bands but they have had coverage in the alternative press. I would like to believe that the movie is giving them a hand in it.

I have also tried to fuel the buzz and I guess you could say my own buzz. With the Independent Collegian, I would give bands coverage that I had in the documentary because those are the bands that are doing stuff.

In my grand scheme of things, I am attempting to do a documentary on local music,Toledo poetry, and a narrative film on Rane Arroyo. I am also currently printing up an anthology of Toledo poets which will have in it John Dorsey, Michael Grover, Leslie Chambers, Kathleen Hale, Jesse Lipman and possibly Luis, Michael Kocinski, and Michael Hackney. I want to have a grand event that will be the book release, the documentary release and a reading. I want it to be like a travelling circus.

I am trying to reincarnate the idea of movement. It is like the Beats and the Surrealists that are about the idea of movement. It is happening in France and Third World countries because that is how they live. We have a movement here but it is just that everyone is too scared to acknowledge it and realize that they are a part of something outside of themselves.

I am guilty of it too. Everyone is so attached to their own projects that they are not willing to move onto something that everyone can work on together mutually. Ultimately, it would wind up better than if they had done it by themselves.

I want to start a movement and I want to give it a name.

Luis: Ohio has a history of alternative art that often is overlooked. Ohio gave us Don Novello who was known as Father Guido Sarducci the comedian. There are people here from Ohio that have done things.

I don't know about giving a name to it but doing it because names come afterwards.

On another topic, I think that slam poetry has had a detrimental factor in community poems. What slam poetry has done is encourage writers to follow a certain form and hammer it over someone else's head like they are insignificant. This is an ongoing argument I have, even though I have done the slam poetry scene myself.

It is played out. All it has been used for is to try to get on HBO and try to get to Hollywood. In other words, there are people participating in the scene not because they are into poetry but because it is a way to something else. So they have a moment of grandiosity and then they fall off of it.

I detest people that show up at a slam just to slam. They don't really contribute to the scene it's a detraction. It is just about someone being in your face for no reason.

If you want to be in someone's face, be in the face of BP or the government. You know, get in the face of someone not doing what it is they are supposed to be doing.

Nathan: At the same time, there is something that is the nuclear opposite of the slam scene, like if two poets got together and just wrote a poem together. It would be like if we sat down together and just wrote word for word. It is such a gentle and beautiful idea. It is about being trapped in consciousness with each other and trying to express it.

The rabbit wringer

by Nathan Elias

My hot finger grips the trigger

of my father’s .410 single barrel shotgun

He tells me to be silent and wait for the rabbit

to reveal itself on the white forest carpet

Keep your eyes open, he says

and be cautious of movement

because if I miss that rabbit run

there will be no kill

Clouds of breath indicate life

hiding in nature’s last winter shadow

The gun in my hand does not tremble

petrified by my cockatrice

It shows itself, little heart racing

across a plate of white I shoot

and leave a trail of blood

in its footprints

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