This fall, I dug into Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. It was hard for me to read. I didn’t finish it. Hardly started it. This is a reaction/intention/release that I wrote after reading a particularly difficult passage. I wanted to somehow prove, that the way we love and live presently, can somehow honor the past, undo a portion of the pain. I want to believe this is possible. These images came together last night.
Headed east for a wedding last week. Just got back this morning. Reminded me of a poem I wrote a few years back, inspired by a Jonathon Richman tune. I wanted to write an opposite, and a truth. A coming to terms with the coast I was born to. An attempt to articulate everything I love and fear about it. I’m still learning how to best articulate this. Here are some images from my recent trip. I stalked the neighbor’s clothesline, thinking of this poem the whole time. The napkins and table cloths that were hung out to dry, had tiny crimson crosses stitched into them. It really was terrifying up close. Again, the sound is an issue. Press mute:) And imagine an old woman reading the text, or a young girl, or me. Imagine the text stitched into the linen. That would have been something.
The history of New England is full of the horrors
that have turned life into gloom, joy into despair,
Last winter, I was contacted by the amazing musician and Choir Director, Mimi Jans. She was beginning to plan her spring program, and had an idea for a collaboration. Mimi asked me to write a poem about birth, that she would then compose a piece of music to, for her newly acquired high school choir. This was especially exciting for many reasons, one of which being, Mimi’s choir is located in Basel, Switzerland. The idea of a whole choir of Swiss adolescents, singing a strange and creepy song about birth, makes me so happy! I sent mimi a few poems to sift through, and luckily she picked the weirdest one!! Since I have never given birth, i tried to re-imagine what it was like being born. This is a recording from their 2011 Spring Concert.
A few months later, the incredible visual artist/performer/designer, Rachel Znerold, asked me to compose a piece of poetry for an installation she was making for a Womb themed show. Her piece, Womb With a View, an interactive, Womb Tent, became the home for this sound piece.
A flood, and suddenly
you are meant to understand,
the slick patience of gravity.
There is a slideshow
of mother skin and air.
There is muscle.
The persistence of pushing.
The first sound is pink breath.
Release, cold, then everything
That is earth and not water,
Rushing in to meet the body.
This is not the mystery of home.
Where’s the nest of silk stones?
Where’s the warm and glow
To cling to?
I am anxious and impatient, so i’ve decided to stop waiting for technology to arrive at my doorstop, and start making things. Dear technology santa, please send help. In the meantime, here is a video poem, minus the poem. I can’t figure out how to add the sound just yet. The two pieces came together a few moments ago. Or at least they tried. Their future is uncertain. I was asked to write a “love” poem for an amazing raven, marriage ceremony, that I’ve just gotten home from. When I sat down to write last night, all I could think about was this conversation I had with Peter. We were talking about art, how we make it, why we do. Peter thinks we make art to create the impossible, to make up for nature’s limitations. We are mechanisms for the impossible he said! I loved that so much. The images are from the garden, and a trip I took to an old gold rush town.
Maybe turn the sound off, and read the text out loud:)