On Feb. 13, local bicycle-oriented community leader the Chainbreaker Collective (1515 Fifth St., 989-3858) hosted a poetry slam fundraiser to help fatten the coffers in this, the bleakest of months, both weather-wise and business-wise. SFR was there to document the festivities both literarily and photographically.
In a culture overrun by a young generation's learned distrust of corporate-driven consumerism combined with ever-growing environmental awareness, it's no wonder that the community-driven Chainbreaker Collective has been so successful. However, providing virtually free bicycles and lessons on maintenance and repair does come at a price. Rent beckons the occasional fundraiser.
Fundraising events aren't easy, and choosing an event that draws a large enough crowd can be a challenge. For Chainbreaker, a contest of the rarely seen yet often-discussed style of slam poetry was a gamble. Surprisingly, nearly a dozen poets lyrically slammed their way through three vicious rounds towards a tasty $50 cash prize. Alternately witty, impassioned, and/or tragic, the versifiers collectively surpassed any of my expectations; as did the Chainbreaker collective which managed to pack the house. In a greasy bike shop where one would expect to hear the sounds of mechanic's clangs, an enthusiastic crowd rowdily jeered judges and screamed support for their favorite poet-gladiator.
Loretta Trujillo, whose poetry powerfully conveyed the tribulations of being a single mother, won the judges' hearts and took home the pot. Deserving special mention is competition finalist Cameron Martinez of the Taos Buffalo tribe whose formidable, hard lyricism successfully spliced blunt observations of a tragic reality with the rhetoric of a revolutionary for a chilling effect. Super dope was a surprise performance by legendary Albuquerque "Beatbox Queen" Ms. Saywut?!.
And just how successful was this gamble of a fundraiser? Cease Martinez, a representing the collective, reports that Chainbreaker raised approximately $1900—equivalent to two months' rent. The event was a clear success for both the collective and our community.
In other biking news, Santa Fe's own Sergio Gonzales, a senior at St. Michael's High School, is the chosen recipient of a new Scattante bike by notable blogger Bike Snob NYC. Bike Snob NYC's goal was to identify someone who truly deserved a new bike. Way to go Sergio—you earned it! Good luck with pre-med, bro.
And don't forget the Santa Fe Bike Summit convening at Second Street Brewery (1814 2nd Street) this Saturday, Feb. 20th at 2 pm.
Photos by Tyler Arp