livewords holds their first reading of 2010 on Thursday, January 28th (7:30pm) at The Black Swan, 154 Danforth Ave. (east of Broadview). Percussionist Joe Sorbara and I will improvise with voice and assorted struck and stroked objects, after I share new poems. Also reading are Heather Cadsby, Sandy Pool, and open-mic poets (who are invited to showcase centos).
Archive for January, 2010
For December and January, Toronto’s improvising hub Somewhere There has featured Doug Tielli (trombone +) and Claudia Wittmann (movement +) in residency. Here’s my partial response to the January 14th performance; Claudia Wittmann has posted my full responses to the January 7th and 14th performances via her website. My January 21st response was proffered in person.
JANUARY 14, 2010
Claudia sits in a chair facing me, facing us. She is fifteen feet away from us, from me. Claudia reclines, torso slumped, legs splayed, feet planted. Claudia sits in a chair facing me, facing us, for ten minutes. She appears large though impassive, her eyes and facial muscles the only subtle movement. Her aura sings. My eyes focus on her and light auras around her, making Claudia shimmer. Claudia looks at Simla Civelek, then Scott Thomson, then me, then Lo Bil, then Doug Tielli.
Claudia sits in a chair facing me, facing us, facing each person in turn, holding eye contact with ease. I assume this ease. When Claudia looks at me, I look at her. When Claudia does not look at me, I look at her. I want her to look at me but I also want her to look away. I am quiet but then I am loud, muddled, wanting. Claudia and I look at each other. My face mirrors hers or is it the other way around. I am calm but busy. My forehead and chin twitch. My head cocks to the right. My lips play a soft upturned amusement. Worry lines lift into my forehead. I notice my own protracted improvisation of bodily shift. I notice my breathing. I notice that I notice.
Claudia’s face plays and lines. Her eye contact steadies and studies; so does mine. Our eyes contact. I look at her and I wonder what I see. As she looks at me, I wonder how she sees me. What judgments do we make about this projected flesh and perhaps we did not choose flesh but what we have we’ve moulded with care and difficulty for thirty or forty years. What judgments do I make about her flesh or my own. What judgments on interior, exterior. Is this dance. How is this dance. What is it to dance. With my presence in Claudia’s presence, questions raise though punctuation enacts fact.
Claudia stands and walks to a different chair. Then a different chair. Claudia lays on the floor. She walks with Lo; they discuss history and weight. Scott leaves the room; then Doug leaves the room. Women fiddle with the possibility to share an experience, to conspire. Unspoken urges manifest in movement. Some unmoved urges manifest in speech. What she said. What she said hangs on my lips, unspoken.
She is here and then there. She is on her knees, upright, exploring space. She explores her interior space externally. We have come here to witness. They have come here for their own reasons. I came to be close, to be in this moment with Claudia and with Doug, to learn how they navigate their subtle bodies in a public sphere, to be where bodies are bodies, to be where sound can be heard. I came to learn from their honest moments. I came to learn from my own.
To sit in a chair and to witness is a choice. To sit and witness is to assume a position in relation to another, to assume a role. And then, all of a sudden, sprung from all the preparation that lead to this moment, it happens: this moment. I find myself here in this room in relation to the giving receiving bodies of other people who are here, in this room. We all take care.
Writers in Electronic Residence (WIER) has posted a Wired Writers Podcast featuring close to an hour of readings and Q&A with me. In the first section, I read from Regreen: New Canadian Ecological Poetry (Your Scrivener Press, 2009) and works-in-progress EFHILMNORSTUVWY and ljóðapoems. Then, I talk about my relationship to the terms mentor/mentee and illustrate personal experiences I have had in these roles. Finally, I read three texts by students with whom I worked during my 2008 WIER residency.
The podcast is available online and on iTunes.
This Saturday, January 16th, CoexisDance holds their 25th performance at Somewhere There (340 Dufferin St., enter from Melbourne Ave.) in this improvisation series that pairs movers with sounders. Nilan Perera and I will drift through found text as Belgian dancer and my dear friend Sarah Janssens gives her first public gestures on North American soil. First set includes Adriana Monti (voice) with Olivia Davies, D. Alex Meeks (percussion) with Dawne Carleton, Colin Anthony (voice, percussion) with Sumi Motoki and Aaron Water. Second set features Nilan, Colin, Sumi, and Stephanie Ledger.