A Perfect Circle
What does it look like? Is it closed? Is it open?
Does it look anything, or nothing.. the void or the sum?
Does it look like Green Lake?
Does it look like your life?
On his death bed, visual and performance artist James Lee Byars said to his friend Tom McEvilley, "Tom, why can't we make anything perfect!?" This from an artist who spent a lifetime searching for the perfect. Attempting the perfect.
"His oeuvre had begun over thirty years before with the theme of Question - an open interrogative stance which lent an airy sweetness to the early work. But now, a lifetime later, his oeuvre was ending, in darkening Egyptian sunlight, with a troubled emphasis on Perfect. In the mid '80s the shifting relationship between these themes began with the Perfect Question. As things unfolded, it seemed increasingly clear that Perfect was not in fact a question; it was an answer. Perfect was the Answer to Question" [Johnny wakes.(James Lee Byars), Artforum International, 9/1/1997].
This Sunday (1 July 2007) marks one full year of poetry at Green Lake (Seattle, WA). This is it. The end of the line.
I'm invigorated. I'm tired. I don't want to go. I'm ready to move on. I've got a million things to do. I won't know what to do with myself (oh yes I will). I'll miss it. It hasn't yet dawned on me.
My poetry desk is (still, yes still) the most important thing I do. It is the dog I walk. It forces me away from myself and into the community.
What will I be without it? Where will I be? Who will I be? And how can I leave?
One year ago today, I walked out of my apartment, in despair. I had no community. I had no collaborators. I had work to do. I had no way of doing it. The people I knew fixed boats. The people I knew climbed mountains. The people I knew sailed boats. The people I knew were not making the kind of art that changes things.
I left my apartment in despair one day. I knocked on every door. Cindy Fuda opened a door for me. I walked in. I occupied a space for a while. The people I needed came to me. The art I needed came. The community came. The work I was called to do became apparent.
I stood for me. I stood for you. I stood for the poet. I stood for all of us. And the things before me became for me as I think they became for you.
MISSING THE POET
The people I have come to know at Green Lake say they will miss me, they will miss the poet, the poet's presence. Do you hear?! They will miss the poet! That means they will be looking for you.
Have you heard? The world misses you!
They need you. They want you.
Wait at the door no more. Go to them.
INSTIGATION #3 : A PERFECT CIRCLE
This Sunday, 1 July 2007
You're invited... to the closing ceremony (at Green Lake of course).
Not just I, but you have survived a full year of poetry. Bravo! You did wonderfully. You were curious, as I knew you would be. You responded. You turned your head. You held your camera up. You whispered as you went by, "poet." Then you came forward. You asked questions. Some were hard questions. Some easy. You gave answers. Very good answers. You enlightened me.
You made this happen as much as I. We met in the middle. I leave in full hope that this conversation will keep going for a long, long time.
A PRESENT! A PRESENT! OPEN YOUR PRESENT!!!
I am preparing an installation for you, a present, to bring the year to a close. Local labyrinth designer, Dan Niven, and I are preparing a temporary meadow labyrinth for you. Come walk it. Come make a perfect circle. Come answer a question. (Isn't it fitting that the project should close with a collaboration?)
It's free. It's anonymous. And it lasts all day (9-5). Let's celebrate our new community. It'll be nothing without you. It'll really be something with you! Please come.. to the meadow where 72nd street intersects with Aurora Ave, near the Shell gas station.
Less and less and less until you are,