Greetings, One & All~

As we pass the Digging Moon and approach the winter solstice, let me be among the first to wish you all a healthy, happy and harmonious closure to the old year and a welcome return of the light in the new. I have one more performance and one more publication to share with you in this final issue of your 2020 A 440 Newsletter, along with your Photo of the Month and Poem of the Month, as always. Be well, be in touch and be of good cheer!

Myths & Masks

Myths hold the same timeless truths they always have, while masks have taken on a whole new meaning; so it feels particularly poignant to close out this year with a weekend of solo Myths & Masks performances at Tucson’s iconic Invisible Theatre on Friday, Saturday & Sunday December 11th, 12th & 13th.

As Invisible Theatre approaches its 50th anniversary in 2021, it is a special pleasure for me to reunite with IT Artistic Director Susan Claasen, whom I have known for at least forty of those fifty years, to co-produce this event.

I have been to two recent productions at IT, and I can report first-hand as an audience member that they have the live theater thing all figured out: socially-spaced seating by reservation at 1/3 of theater capacity; masks required throughout the 70-minute performances; staff greeters and hand-sanitizing stations at both theater entrances; and a newly-installed, extremely quiet ionizer.

Those of you who regularly attend IT and know Suz know that she and her crew have also figured out how to stage performances responsibly without taking any of the fun or magic out of the live theater experience! Those of you who may be new to IT (or to Myths & Masks) are in for a real treat that you will no doubt want to repeat.

information & reservations

(NOTE: all IT productions are in compliance with the new City of Tucson curfew)


Martial arts master Matthew Mullen, who hosted an outdoor Planet of Percussion concert at his Pinon Hills Labyrinth Martial Arts Retreat in Pinon Hills CA last May, has released the first in a planned series of instructional videos using music from my GRAMMY-nominated Canyon Records solo world music CD Pathfinder as the soundtrack. I’m no ninja, but to my ear and eye my grooves are a perfect fit for Matthew’s moves!

Photo of the Month

Your December Photo of the Month comes to us from peripatetic nature photographer and wildlife whisperer R.C. Clipman. Taken at Nojoqui Falls in Santa Barbara County CA, this shot captures an Acorn Woodpecker doing its characteristic thing: stashing acorns harvested from the oak groves that surround the Falls in holes it has pecked in the trunk of a dead tree for its winter food supply, giving a whole new and more complimentary meaning to the term bird brain. Pretty darn smart, if you ask me!

Poem of the Month

I have been writing a lot in 2020 (and well, according to your responses!) and I have a few new poems in the works at this moment, but none that are ready for prime time, as they say. In the timeless and deadline-free realm of poetry, one can’t simply manufacture a finished product and ship it on schedule; so for your final 2020 Poem of the Month I will dip back into the archives for this fresh re-write of an older piece that feels like a good fit for this particular moment. Savor its flavor as you would a well-aged wine, and thanks as always for perusing my musing and enthusing in kind!

Midnight Conversation with My Body

Old friend, old enemy, we’ve come

to know each other so well.

How is it that I try to use

what I’ve learned to do you good

yet you use what you’ve learned

to do me harm?

Tonight our mask was lost: the one

with the twin horns of light

that never stop growing

but sharpen and harden

as they penetrate and illuminate the night;

the one lined with dark brown mink fur,

painted the deep blue of truth

and embossed with the burnished gold iconography

of crescent moons, pyramids, and the Seven Virtues.

Where is it now that I most need it:

at this once-in-a-lifetime opportune moment

for which it was expressly created?

In the cargo hold of a doomed commercial jet

re-routed to the wrong city,

sightless sockets trained on everything and nothing

there in the frigid roaring darkness between stars.

I have forgiven you these betrayals so many times

old friend, old enemy. . . so many times. . . and we’ve come

to the same agreement, only to break it

so many times—too many to count!

No more.

My attachment to your pleasures has been ground down

like the gears of some fantastic machine mired in desert sand

by your stubborn refusal to simply let me be.

It is time to say goodnight.

Sleep deeply and do not dream.

I will lock the doors behind me when I leave.

© Will Clipman 2020

~As the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer
may your dreams for the future grow stronger and stronger~

Featured December Event

Myths & Masks at Invisible Theatre
Friday, Saturday & Sunday
December 11th, 12th & 13th

information & reservations:

Gratitude and generosity balance a life well-lived.

~Guillaume Henri

Will Clipman

poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ storyteller ~ performing artist ~ educator