Saturday, October 31, 2015
poem || Lawrence Upton
Poem for poet voice and dancer
Performance. Instructions to the dancer are in square brackets and are not to be spoken. The dancer may also respond to what the voice says.]
The door lets in noises.
The room is full of static.
There is nothing but loud near-vacuum.
[The dancer appears, having run forward startlingly, stopped and then started again; all done not quite jerkily, but certainly with little flow in between each separable movement.]
I have a troubling sense of light.
My lips are dry and catch together, or so it feels. I am alive, but with pain; and I am alone and in pain.
[The dancer flaps its arms, lifting itself a very little from the ground; but it does not fly.]
Who am I? he asks. He pushes the door shut.
[The dancer lifts its wings – its arms – and stretches them out momentarily.
The dancer preens itself.]
The world spreads out before him. He will no longer read his notes. He does not wish to read his notes.
[The dancer looks about itself with quick jabs of sight, the whole body poised beneath the obsessing and observing head.]
There are other choices. Some offer escape. She looks at the time. All she can do is wait.
[The dancer stumbles backwards and falls. Its four legs go into the air, a small crowd of them. All of the dancer's weight is on its back. The dancer is squinting with ferocity.]
His thoughts are not pleasant thought.
[The dancer wipes its beak on a protrusion, possibly a branch.
Things vibrate a while, after the dancer leaves them.]
He is aware how high above the centre of the world he is. It makes him forgetful.