Sunday 18 February 2007
ROOM WITH A VIEW
I am consumed with thoughts on the reading series I am developing for the Phinney Center. Fielding questions from poets, performers, the media, friends who wish to understand. "What are you trying to do?"
Asking a distinguished poet to recognize and introduce a colleague who hasn't yet published a book seems simple. Artists supporting artists. Yes, but what an seldom incurred event! And so this is my effort, to call forth the humanity of the artist. To expose the nurse/patient, food/hunger, relationship between poets, mentors, the literary society. To take the artist outside herself, put her in a telephone booth, on a seesaw, to recognize that balance and need.
The artist sits in her room, alone and wondering. "Who will recognize this? Recognize me?" Wondering how to be found. "Why are the other being published? When will it be my turn?" Talking to herself, forgetting how to relate. "For whom do I write?" Forgetting the aim of voice, which is to converse. To live. To explain. To comfort. To affirm. Not to preserve, but to begin. Not to prolong, but to grow. Not befuddle, but expose. Not dispute, but avow.
AN ONION & A GLASS OF WATER
What is the purpose of coupling poetry and performance? How to explain performance art?
The public is confused. "You mean slam poetry? You mean performance?" The poets are worried. "There's going to be a performance during to my reading?" The performers are most leery. "What kind of poets are these?"
Well, I think all of this is like asking an onion and a glass of water how they might relate if I were to put them on a table together. The fact is, they can't help but relate because they coexist, they inhabit the same frame. The onion just by being an onion. The glass just by being a glass. There is no work to be done. There is only information spent. The bend of skin through water. The reflection on glass. The moisture breathed by a paper skin.
I chose a title, a title meant to read like a label, for a painting.
THE FUTURE IS HERE
Whether or not you agree that performance art work was born in the work of Futurist Italian poet, F. T. Marinetti in 1908, it is hard to deny the parallels between performance and poetry. When true, they serve as forms of attack on the state, on the state of art in the modern world, in the bourgeois culture. Poets and performers are the artists most significantly affecting how we see the world. How we live in it.
Untitled [Intersection], 2007 proposes to merge these efforts, to posit them against one another, as means of correcting their fracture and of instigating a dialogue between them.
Talk about a rose petal in a canyon! The poet goes to the mailbox, drops in a submission, put it onto the blue tongue and Amen waits. What quieter death exists?!
Rise up devout one, tie a stone to your petal. It is time you made noise. Tasked yourself with talent.
THE LITTLE POET
A visitor brought me Janet Wong today, a local children's author and poet. A kindergarten teacher brought me Janet Wong. She reads Wong's poetry to her students, to her kindergarten students. Someone is working to turn the tide. Thank you, Professor Lilliput. Thank you for planting the next fairy tale crop.
WHAT WILL DESTROY YOU : WHAT WILL SAVE YOU
"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you" (Jesus, in the Gospel of Thomas).
Fred Bissetti came to see me. He came to the lake. A famed Seattle architect came to see the unknown poet. He suggested putting a booth beside mine, sitting at a desk that read a-r-c-h-i-t-e-c-t. Yes, I said, please do that. That would be lovely.
Your buildings are not invisible. Are you? Where is your entry way? You are here at my desk, in a chair, before me. Yes, I said, please do that. That would be lovely.
Mr. Bissetti brought his daughter, Ann, and two chairs. Or did Ann bring her father?
responses in defiance of the oppression. Boal draws a clear distinction between what happens when the actors who are not members of the audience community play out the scene and when audience members, who he calls “spect-actors”, take up the role. He says when people watch someone not of the community represent their lives, they experience a sort of catharsis—a recognition of the familiar with an accompanying emotional response. But when the actor is one of them, it gives rise to a far more compelling process because it is a sort of self- libratory act
initiated by the oppressed people themselves: 'We should depart from the theatre galvanized with our desire and our decision to bring about change for that which is unfair and oppressive' (p.25)." [Performing Respect].