Cat Bones in the Flower Beds

this feels good

The Birth Projects

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?

Impossible Mechanisms

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:)

What Peter Losh Said

“We are mechanisms

of the impossible,” he said.

“We can make horses fly!

We can do whatever we want!”

Peter, I agree with you!

Nature has its miracles,

sure. But we are designed

to make Art! To take mineral,

sun, night, to take earth, hurricane,

home, and put this together

somehow, streamline it.

Look at us moving

our perfect hands in the morning.

We collect the day,

stir the parts that impress us

the most, into a ruby pot

called purpose.

Isn’t it wonderful to discover

what we’re here for?

To make Love,

make Art,

to honor the Sun

as she finds her way

home again,

through the thick and pull

of the night.

Intercourse Began in 1967

It started with handfuls of rain

and breast in October. It started in a doorway,

someone was 17, but most of us

weren’t born yet.

It made our mothers buy hair dye

and finger soft fruit at the market.

It made our fathers

our fathers.

Isn’t it something,

that here we are now

rubbing on each other’s

bellies and bottoms

slipping on and off

silk robes

of mother, lover, and father.

We fill each other’s mouths

with the pulse and promise

of art, music, and living the way

we always thought that we should.

What I’m saying is,

it all makes sense to me.

* text first published in Getting There, 2008

*Photograph found and coveted. My birth mother Regina, and father Kevin. Circa 1975, California.