how Rachel said i am in your poems and I felt hands on my organs
like they need to leave my body, the process of that as reading
and I need the operations of the book format to make more space
my confused answer that analogue is organ and digital is chemical messenger
mixed messages and unfinished indexing (recognition-naming-camouflage-visibility-resuscitation...nuance-consequence...mirrors-intuition-surveillance-chords-saturation...mutuality-sabotage-convection-satellites... )
how the broadcast message goes out and comes back to me
that I think about midwifing the situation of this, whatever that means
how I commented to Sam that like all the things I love, I didn't know what that was
and how that stuck
what A said about bringing forth interiority, I felt flattered and quiet
and V quoting to stay with the trouble
and J telling me to make it practical, and that I should sing
and how he loved me the way I love cats, as a category
and the prenoms I have written to that are not live in the same way, but how I learnt to alchemise something from the feeling
and Irena who said I was a writer who was working through dance even if it doesn't look that way
and the who who told me to do it, but for whom no poem came
and how it takes so long that something specific gets general and then specific again
and how, out of time as I usually am, who I write to is not who I write for
and that I am often appalled by how it comes out, the relentless same stuff
and N said I am not a writer like that so I shouldn't show it like this, cause its a mixed message
so I thought to take it all down
the notes of the subjects
how a well-known writer said not to wait till they've all died, but to push ahead with an apology and un-compromised telling
and what Gill said
and shame, obviously maybe, but also joy
and you, there reading
slightly shy of
nearing and going away again
fraying the edges upon
pulling the door to
drawing an arc around
crossing the line through
fading away from
cracking the glaze of
blurring the edges
wetting the sleeve
losing the thread
marking the place where
tracing a finger across
unloosing the hair from
easing out of
I went around as if blindly magnetised by my gender and age. I went where they went, a little after. I couldn’t shake it off. But I did try and I did shake.
I sieved myself out. I gave myself concussions.
two points always make a line
two beats measure the space
the third already contains the future and it's too late
The first time I saw him I was in the shadow of some lightning flash. Since then I have been counting, the way my mother taught me as a child, waiting and listening for the boom to catch up to the spark. To tell me the distance of the storm.
Un-twinned by time, each in our own way we tried to know the lag. Lovers trying to be born in the same century, the same languages. Mutual friends.
it has already begun/ for the thing is not one to be done/ it is an undoing/ sure as one state gives way to the next/beyond reach of all our best instruments is a smaller beginning out of sight/ the exact moment dawn makes day of night itself a process of becoming / and though we strain awake to see, it will have happened quietly, as an interval/ known only in knowing that new day all around/ I went to sleep with a poem in my mouth, and woke filled with your name/ light streaming through the curtains.
Where there is warmth, burns recognise themselves a-new, prickle.
I see you flushed, rehearse their singing:
the name of the skin, the site of the wound where the fire went in.
But this is just small candles.
And I a finger
wetted by its own mouth
pass untouched through.
3. CAMOUFLAGE/ wizards
We hid our love in plain sight. I tormented myself with questions of its reality, so closely matched was it to the changing qualities of background-foreground. But in moments of prolonged stillness the surroundings changed almost unnoticed and revealed about us some extra detail. Or we were bolder in an hospitable environment and came closer under the veil of all that incidental touch, bolstered by the amount of our surfaces in contact with the others.
I was careful to diversify my signal-sending; going peripherally, obliquely and then not all when a rhythm threatened…I distributed my receptors all around the place so as to be my most diffuse, my most available. And to prevent the thickening of certain pathways which would approach the spectrum of the visible.
The whole time I was facing out. So when I say I was unsure I mean that you were barely in my peripheral vision and everything I sensed about you seemed to be refracted back to a single shifting point inside myself.
At the end of the affair we sat opposite, and like two old magicians we dismantled it, revealed to each other how it had been done. We knew our way around the alphabet. It was no consolation.
There are images that return to me again and again.
1). The structure of a tent, with a balance of being sturdy and flexible, sits on the ground but isn’t rooted. It is suspended wherever it is by guy ropes pitched at distances and in different directions. Far reaches and their non-oppositional tensions constitute the place where something can host.
2). An onion or another sprouting thing, sometimes a plant. The bulb takes longer, but the image is the same: one of growing out from the inside strongly towards the light. Usually the tension between rooting and toppling over is met with the same blind coding. The stronger pattern being the one of moving out, the new growth causes a fall into another space.
ENGLAND: SLEEPING CONTENT/ LESS/ SUMMER
Terraced courtyard. Very early and oh sun!
Not held in a group by words, all stood, sat and wandering. The understanding of waiting in the calmness of morning. Space for the sound of animals and grass. Passing round a mug of tea. So much shared and space for the returning thought raising its volume: that so many words are wasted, their economy, sometime efficiency undermining what we can already know: the edges of the group, what each needs to be maintained.
Musicians arriving with cases and soft cases. Green blazers with red turn ups at pocket, collar and cuff. A little chatting. Children enlisted from running to move chairs. An occasional cymbal. Pushchair breaking the line of shadow, balanced on it's diagonal by shopping bags and sleeping content. A low brass pomp pomping and a gentle chorus of laughter. The suggestion of tea.
Entering the marquee, a passing salute to rain. The memory in my own mouth of basil leaves, wedding and funeral parties. The arrival of guests. Trestle tables.
A semi-circle crowd gathering. Some small children bobbing and nodding. The band trying to find their way into Twinkle Twinkle. Clutches of notes surfacing recognisable briefly. The wide eyes of those children and the narrowed eyes of the players in concentration. All teetering on tiptoes or heel rocked ready to fall into the swells of the music, the overwhelm of expectation.
Young people throw their bodies upside down. A stray football runs gently over the stomach of a reclining man, he unflinching. Sitting with a stranger, a bird flies very close through the space between us. Boys with bare chests jump high wall to wall. Another group organise themselves in a circle practising skills.
No one gets hurt. No one goes home early.
All my questions funnel in on each other at the delivery end, as though they are getting sucked through a filter. A filter or a shredder or some other technology that cancels out each potential expression in speculative contingencies, arriving always and only to a tapered utterance of the most economical kind: a name followed by a question mark.
pass me over/ for pay to play oh-
cause my body's unambiguous
65. VOLITION (to T)
(And) words and words.
They are flying from you
Like water on a hot day
Leaving your body.
(But) evasive and teasing
I bide my blankness out. For
When the time-codes of us coincide
I will be rushed forth.
Urgent to be drained and telling of
How I thought we could clean
Our feelings with words. But offline
My inside eye and I,
I am waiting now, for news from my body.
Exercised words rehearse
To run, to metabolise the old stories:
How you lay down your head to listen,
And my desire to meet you.
But I do not.
Sleep. For what this vigil asks
Perhaps only in witness
Words to come.
And they will eventually,
Flying from you,
Flying from me,
Like water on a hot day
Leaving our bodies.
touch me/ I'm dissolving/ back to the alphabet/ before your eyes it's the hardest thing to hide/ of all the names we gave, only false ones/ drain them/ drain them of colour
we were suspended/ becoming crystals/ a solution inside something more/ and all the forms we made were unknown ones/ we are not like this, we are not like that
come, let me taste again/ something like perfume/ demolishes me/ and I can't describe it to you
come, take away the words/ help me stem them/ if you want me to stem them/ come help me stem them
if you want me to stem them, give me your mouth
give me your mouth/ half way from here/ this will all degrade
half by half until it's done/ done undone until it's gone
28. MIRRORS (for C)
The storm was finally breaking, and barefoot we danced a little in the rain. I remembered an old poem about darkness and cameras and loving someone.
A photograph of the night
The best dark I have ever known
It steals all of me but the eyes
Which find some light
And send it out again
Come in white my love
Come in mirrors
When you come hither.
(never knowing the limit to dreaming/ that higgs-boson of our relation evidenced/ invisibly money)
67. CIRCULAR FUNCTION
the family is a school of love
it's madness so
forbids what shadows would reveal it
The grief was not passive. Overtime I found that it possessed a rhythm of its own, and when I started to feel differently I would jar against it the way you fall out of rhythm with a trampoline and find your body flung around. It would turn like that from time to time. Those punctuative changes alarming but quickly transitioning to a different pulse, a support.
the moon relieved the harbour
a weight of water
across the sea
Tensegrity, Metastability & First State texts written for Geometry of Self (Cie. Small Room Dance, FR, 2011/12)
we are each other (pdf)- text contributed to The Swedish Dance History V4, 2011.
For South East Dance The Red Line blog reflection around dramaturgy
For South East Dance blog on artist in residence project with Brandwatch
For DRAFF magazine, review of Autoctonos by Ayelen Parolin
For Bellyflop magazine, review of O by Alexandrina Hemsley & Jamila Johnson Small
For Bellyflop magazine, review of Improvisation by Charlie Ashwell & Seke Chimutengwende